6/30/07

My phone or the iphone?

After what was suppose to be a fun filled adventure to Ellis Island yesterday turned into a more fun filled adventure to the awe inspiring Apple store in SoHo. So, my friend JT and I were suppose to go to Ellis Island for the day, but JT had to leave early and the lines were incredibly long. We didn’t factor in the long lines of tourist on a Saturday afternoon. What were we thinking? Note to self, always remember if you are going to major tourist attractions in New York City, always allow yourself at least 2 hours in advanced to go anywhere.

Anyhow, so we were around SoHo looking at a gift for JT’s friend, little to find that we were around the whole Apple crazed iphone store. I was surprised to see people already had them in their hands, connected and all and this was just Saturday! I do have to say that the interface and the whole package looks incredible. We stopped by, went to the top of the glass-staired landing and snapped some pictures of everyone crowding around the iphone counter.

We left and then went back in to just peak at the price of the whole ensemble. $499 for an 4gig and $599 for a 8 gig…for a phone. JT had guessed right and was surprised about it, I had guessed $650 and there was a guy that had overheard us talking about the price, he told us that it was $650 with the tax included. Then you have to activate it with the least AT&T plan which was $59.99 for 250 minutes to as high as $219 for 6,000 minutes...check it here...Plus a $35 activation charge…total price for a minimum iphone activated: $635 and $735, respectively.

He then said, “go big or go home”. I quickly glanced in his hand that he had just purchased the iphone. As I had left, I said to JT, I’d rather go home and well...I also went with my phone rather than an iphone...

6/29/07

Is a penny worth you picking it up?

So, many of you may believe if you pick up a penny off the street (heads up only) you would gain good luck. Although, if it is faced down, you would leave it be. Are you one of those people?

What is wrong with America? Money is money, although I do believe or question the fact that for you to pick up a penny off of the street, the amount of germs, energy and pride to pick up a penny off of the street is far less valuable than actually picking the penny up. But what do I know?

I on the other hand do try to pick up any loose change that I find off of the street. I am not afraid of the germ a phobia that many people may have. I do not believe in the luck that a penny may bring if it is heads up or tails up. Money is money. Although I am not the person who looks straight at the ground searching for lose change at all either…

I only bring it up because each of the nights or days in which I had been going to and fro work, my commute consists of a mile of walking down 14th street from 3rd avenue to 8th avenue, I have found a penny each day of a total net worth of: a nickel (5 cents). Now really, what can you buy with 5 cents these days? It really comes to question, is a penny really worth a penny these days? And if it were a $100 bill instead of a penny, would you pick it up?

6/25/07

The stress relief of running…


Stress comes with the job right when you apply for an interview. Whether you are having a tough day at work or you feel like your life is in shambles, runners always have a release to go to. For me, I look at running as an alternative to free my mind from any thought. A release of pressure, relaxation and carefree-ness that allows you to do what you want to do and be what you want to be. It is a life and a different world in which we live and excel from practice to practice.

Although I wanted to write after this weekends run with ST, I found it more appropriate to write it after my own stressed environment 2 days later. ST had stolen me away from the New Flyer run, which was going at a slow to medium trot pace for the new flyers that had potential to join the club. I had left the group to follow her in a brutal race pace of a 7:30 m/mile. Interested in her conversation, she had not slept that night and went on a run to relieve her stress, I enjoyed her talk about anything and everything that went on in her life. In my mind I was slowly tinkering about a blog in which I should write about this…and how I have never done this in my time…Little did I know that this was soon to happen to me.

Having a rough day at work, and “leaving” (I use the term lightly because I had just taken a “break” from work) to join the Monday night group runs with the NY Flyers. I quickly told the group that I would have to run alone and finish at a faster pace than the usual run.
My brain turning to mush and my eyes absolutely burning from staring at the screen for 8+ hours, I really desired to go for a run to relax myself and replenish my energy.

I had restricting myself to a time to go back and thought about a relaxing run to release my emotions. I set out with the group, but hitting the Westside highway, I busted ahead and quickly felt a great emotional release in my run. I had run faster, harder and with a great amount of anger. I have never had this feeling before and by the time I had turned around, I was quickly tired out and emotionless. The tired feeling of my muscles eased my physical body stress, the heavy breathing of my lungs overtook my mental stress that I had gained through the day of work…I had felt replenished, rejuvenated and refreshed by the time the run was over…I quickly returned where my group had started. Knowing that I had to go back to work and finish, what had become, a never ending night and week.

6/24/07

Running - Awe inspiring Sunday…

So today was the infamous, Hope & Possibility 5M race in Central Park. Sponsored by the Achilles running club, a worldwide track club that enables people with all types of disabilities to continue in their athletic components “deferred” by their handicap capabilities, the race was a well organized and awe inspiring event. Many of the usual runners in central park see hand cyclist and “Achilles” runners (I think these are runners whom run with a blind person which have a rubber band type of string that they “guide” the other runner along with) as a daily routine training (more on the weekends than on the weekdays) like any of the other runners…but to see many of them in a race, is very unusual and quite the benefit to be aspired. Which brings me to my next question to all of the runners out there…What would you do if you did not have one of your legs? Would you continue to run and train?

As I walked up to the starting line, I saw a large amount of hand cyclist at the very beginning of the start. You don’t see many of these hand cyclist at a usual road runners race, you see a handful, but not like 20-30 of them all together. I had also went to see if any of the Flyers had been running in this race. This race was one of the smaller races due to the “non-counting” factor of scored races that counted on your nine NYRR races for the marathon qualifying. So many people did not do this race. But still many people were in attendance. The large groups of TNT (Team in Training) groups used this run as a training run for many of its members, which for many of them had been their first running race.

I was also looking for my friend, JK, at the starting line, whom was doing this race for her first running race and wanted to wish her luck. With so many people, I tried to look for her at her appropriate pace, although had found out later on that she had moved up to a faster pace group because of the lack of people doing this race. (if she only knew about the pace times during larger road runner races and how much I do hate the people who do not run in their appropriate pace/pile section…but that’s just me) But this was a smaller race, so it did not matter to me because I was not running in the race either, but I could not find her. So I had left to find a spot on the course in which I could at least take pictures of those flyers whom were running in that race and also a picture for my friend JK, who needed a running picture of her to post on her TNT website.

While watching the race though, you can sense the amount of determination and strength that all of the “handicap” runners had gone through within their lives. The Achilles runners with their “running pacers” to the runners with a prosthetic engineered leg to hand cyclists, they all came out in full force to prove to themselves that they can run like the rest of us.

It just brings to question about the whole “would you, could you” question because many of us would say “yes”…but until faced with that situation, the long effects of something like that would greatly effect your decision. So, I consider myself lucky, with a healthy body. I have much respect for anyone whom still runs or stays determined with an outlook on life of still staying athletic.

6/23/07

Running - Showing some PRIDE…

The thought had crossed my mind to buy a colorful rainbow bandana to show my Gay Pride. Of course…but being straight, I once had a gay roommate back in college and lived perfectly fine. Knowing many people who had been unsure about their sexuality, I have grown to accept many different people, no matter what race, color or “weirdness”. Of course, it really doesn’t surprise me if people would think that I am weird, since after all, I call myself the Crazy Asian now…and it was Gay Pride week in NYC.

Anyways, the Front Runner running club had put on a 5 mile Lesbian and Gay Pride Run, which I had been taking a month off from running races and had chosen to take pictures of my teammates as well…although, waking up at 8am to get going by 8:30am and run up to Central Park from 13th Street and make it to some prime real estate Kodak moment Central Park snapshot places before the race that starts at 9am… well I just cut it close, but secured a nice spot to cheer and take pictures.

While taking pictures on first the East Side, then switching to the west side, I had witnessed women with a baby carriage who was probably focusing on the runners in the race. She had wanted to cross the pedestrian pathway to the other side, although she was in the BULK of the running mass and started to run across. A Biker at the same time did not see the women with the baby carriage…and well…BANG! The rider went over his steering wheel, concerned about the baby in the baby carriage. The mother, concerned first for her baby, then concerned and apologetic to the biker about not seeing him...it was madness. Many of the runners actually stopped to see if they had been ok, offered help and continued on their way. It was pure madness and for about 2 minutes, the baby didn’t cry, I’m guessing he or she was in shock, then finally a baby cry…it was rather scary actually.

So that was the whole event drama for the day. But I had found out that the running club of the Front Runners had been either all gay or lesbian runners. It made me wonder, what happens if you are just picking a running team out of the blue, and you happen to choose the Front Runners as a team you want to run for. But if you are straight, would they accept you? I mean I had randomly chosen the Flyers as my running team, it was the Flyers or Central Park…and Central Park had wanted my “quality times”. I had only run like my first half marathon…Boy! That was long ago…

Anyways, the rest of the day evolved into running with the new flyer run, moving on from the trot to a full out run with ST, another fast women flyer, who had been pushing a pace since she had not slept the night before…(story later to come)…and then from that, going home, haircut & food shopping in Chinatown, and then finally the dreaded: WORK…and that was my day.

But the next day after was the Gay Pride Parade which started at the bottom of Central Park (59th street) and ran all the way down to the West Village, which is basically the 1, 2 or 3’s of streets…59 streets of Gay Pride. It was amazing though the support of the crowd, the people, although seeing 3 guys with just their underwear on? Come now, I just wanted to join them in their skippies, but I had to go to work, yet again and that would not look good now…so on with all the love, the holding hands of same sexes and the true nature of Pride…

The Amazing-FREE-ness of MoMa

If there was any other day of the week that people are most happy about is the day of Friday. The day that the weekend begins, the day that work ends and the day that, well people could just go out and have fun. On retrospect, Friday’s are days in which the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in NYC is FREE. Nothing usually is free in this world and when things are free, well you should highly take advantage of the situation.

The exhibits usually do not change much, although if you find the main attraction exhibit worthy of going or worthy of spending $15-20 during the weekend to see, well, it probably is worth seeing. Although the whole option of seeing it on Friday is that you get to see it for FREE. Usually you can’t see the museum and exhibits alone as well, or at least I could not just go into a museum and walk around or sketch, to me a museum and its art needs to be freely understood, conceptualize and be talked about.

So the huge main attraction exhibit that was being shown was the Richard Serra – Sculpture: forty years. Serra’s, widely know sculptor, which displays larger than human scaled pieces of steel metal plates curved in a ways, encompasses the beauty of art, light, shadow, space, resistance and the mixture of how you see things and how you move through spaces. He encompasses architecture within his large pieces, which I find very fascinating because I am an architect and his pieces are so called sculpture pieces.

So, I met up with one of my friends, let’s call her BLUE. So blue and I enjoyed the outdoor piece, the many indoor pieces and well, we could gone for a second round if we had wanted to like two kids wanting to go on a roller coaster and the line was 2 hours long. The pieces were exceptionally amazing in a way where Serra captures the beauty of art. Well, after the many Serra exhibits, Blue and I just wandered around looking at various paintings from Rothko to Pollack, after a while our hunger set in and we left there after.

We left MoMa on 52nd between 5th and 6th and wandered around to 2nd or 3rd avenues to look for a decent restaurant. I had given my choices of Sushi, Italian or the third was any cultured variety of ethnic diversified meal. We ended up looking for quite a while, searching for different restaurants, until finally we ended up 3 blocks away from where Blue had lived, and ate the winner was…Sushi. We then wined at a wine bar close by and shared a bottle of Spanish red wine, the name escapes me…I think it was Crianza? I thoroughly enjoyed the company and enjoyed the deep conversations that we have had and hope that we will do it again some time soon.

Let's get Personal...

Running blog will be taking a rest, since I have not ran in a whole while lately. So, I have set up another blog for “My life, My American Express.” - Cick here or to the section of: Do you really know me?

I thoroughly apologies for those of you whom have to switch from one blog to the next, but Running life is separate from my own life. Not the whole change of personalities, just a more knowledge based personal life of me, outside of running.

6/22/07

Self Offenses vs. Own Offenses

Last night, I was out with one of my friends, (JK) a running buddy and non-flyer, for a drink after a long week to unwind. I had met up with them (her friend and her) whom had been drinking before me. After one drink for me, we decided to head on home. Both of them had been craving for sushi or some Asian fix, and at that point in the night were conjuring thoughts about pizza or any other restaurant that they have their eyes set on.
They were two drunk girls with the deadly night drunken’ munchies. JK and I parted with her friend as she was headed into the dreaded McWorld as we went into a local bodega near JK’s apartment. There JK had her fix still on Asian food and went to the freezer isle to take out one thing…and one thing only. Without saying a word, she said, “CAN YOU COOK THESE?” The first thing that came to my mind was, “What you need an Asian person to cook you those DUMPLINGS!” I found it really funny, not at all offensive, but brings a question to mind…

What are the limits to remarks of your own “kind”. Why is it that you, of your own nationality or color or race could call each other a racist remark, but those who are not, can not or seem to be offensive. Shouldn’t it be that if your own kind is saying these demoralizing or “offensive” slurs, remarks or racist acts is the same as everyone? How are you limiting the equality of that nature? I only ask this because I have seen multiple segments of 60 minutes and different scenarios of this nature being brought about when IMUS had been fired from his job.

JK laughed hysterically as our drunken tirade went back to her apartment and slowly set the cooker to relieve her Asian fix. There she started watching The Daily Show, and showed me the clips of John Stewart ratting out Jewish remarks…She of course was Jewish and found everything to be quite hilarious since after all what comes around goes around. After devouring the dumplings, it was WAY past m bedtime for one night and the long weekend of work soon to come as well…

6/21/07

80% of shown SKIN...

This goes out to one of my close running friends (JM)...and to the great responses that I have gotten over the “bob”…to some it was quite amusing and well it had shown incite on me and what you had never known about me… and what I had been thinking while running. Watch out ladies… The start of spring and summer brings the blossoming of flowers, cut grass and well people begin to show some skin. Time to shed off all of that extra clothing and time to get a tan, SHOW SOME SKIN! Almost screaming out at the top of my lungs like good old Jerry McGuire, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!", I hoot and holler in my office…SHOW ME SOME SKIN! Ok…maybe not. But still, that is what I have thought about in my own mind during work, while thinking about how to put this blog-ate (how do you say a short term of a blog? Anyone? ANYONE? Like an synopsis is to a book…) Ok, for all the guys that I could speak and to all the ladies that are reading (I hope you don’t get offended) but the guys love skin. Well they love a whole lot of everything else too, but showing a large amount of skin (on a toned runner chick) is absolutely amazing. Not too much skin, but enough…like 80%...I mean given the theory of 80%, let’s break that down now…

  • Your hands, neck, face, head are always revealed, that’s about 35% of your body right there
  • You wear a T-shirt that reveals your forearms and somewhat your bi/tri’s we’ll give that about another 10% (A tank top increases that by 5%)
  • You wear shorts, for ladies it’s shorter, so that’s about 15%
  • You wear a sports bra and show your abs and back, that’s about: 15%

All the rest of your areas, that should not be shown while running:

  • Socks/Feet – 5%
  • Under-areas and boobs – 15%

So…therefore, ladies…always show the 80%...cause the guys just love it…

6/19/07

"Life - A special tribute to you Dad…and G-pa…"

Though Father’s Day has passed and I have been a bad son by not visiting my father during Father’s Day, I wanted to write this tribute to my father and my grandfather. There is a saying where you don’t realize what you have missed until it is finally gone. I have finally realized this amongst two different things, one: my recently ex-girlfriend and two: my grandfather. During the recent Need for Speed relay (yes, my life revolves around running) there was a leg that went through a cemetery in which my grandfather had been laid to rest. I think, if I had been doing that leg, I would have gone up to visit my grandfather, just stay there for about 5 seconds and then leave once again…maybe even talking to him in my mind while I was running or think ordinary thoughts. (mind you my teammates would have been disappointed, but reassurance that I would have ran faster due to just the aura that surrounds the atmosphere) I never really sat down to speak to my grandfather though, I had learned a whole lot about him and how much my personality intertwines with the same concepts that he had. I also learned not to do a whole lot that my grandfather had done. My grandfather was an alcoholic and I had learned through his mistakes never to take alcohol as a revolution of your life. Life doesn’t revolve around alcohol, even though it may seem as it does. Through him, I never drank a whole lot in college even though I had been in a fraternity and it made me a stronger person in the end. To my Dad, I have learned even more. A new found respect for your parents once you grow up. It’s as though you can have the same respect for professors or teachers once you enter the college academia life. (To all my teacher friends, I respect the work that you do and think very highly upon how you actually “know” how to teach. I find it intimidating, although I would one day love to go into the academia world.) Your parents are often there to bug you about almost everything, but they care. It’s amazing how much they do care, and if you knew my parents, well…they have been very lenient at times, but other times it’s just SO FUNNY! To me though, my father is what I am made of and I carry his name on my shoulder (think Tattoo - Last name). I have great respect for my father and grandfather to go through the hardships that they never had and the life that I go through now. I live an amazing life and I can’t complain about anything. I have no worries or fears as they had when they first come over to the United States. Although you realize the smallest things even grow on you. My father is a very strange character, he saves like all these old newspapers and goes through countless amounts of articles and I would have to say that he is a pack rat. Well…needless to say, that has grown upon me as well and I can honestly say that I am a pack rat as well, not newspapers, but other things. But daily things that I would have never even imagined myself doing. When I had been little my mother would pack my father’s lunch every day, people would think he was crazy bringing lunch. I do that now! My dad has this qualm about eating fruit daily and early in the morning. I hated fruit…but now? Yup! I do that daily as well, me and my fruit bowl of cantaloupe, watermelon and a kiwi. Needless to say I can honestly say that I had been lucky to grow up so well, although am I going to become my father later on in life? It’s not such a bad thing though…I can deal! So I tip my hat to all the father’s out there and to both my grandfather and most importantly, my own father, to say Thank You.

6/18/07

Running – What would you do for a picture?

Father’s Day is a special day to all the dad’s out there. Before I speak of running, I would like to thank my father for all that he has done to raise me as the child and person that I once was and am today. I do appreciate all the support he gives to me and the knowledge he tries to hang around me…the constant nagging to stop running and acknowledgement of how my legs are going to fall off or “when you get older, your not going to be able to walk!” lectures…Sorry Dad, I can’t stop running.

But today’s race, the Father’s Day 5 mile run, encompasses that, although I respectfully and finally took my father’s advice in not running. So I took pictures of my team with my new toy, an SLR Camera, in which I had bought the day before. This way I can take some snazzy action photos of my teammates in action.

So I woke up at around 7:30, put on my NY Flyer garb and took the subway up to 103 street. There, I would take a picture of all the lovely ladies who had volunteered for the water station and then quickly got on my way to find a nice spot to take some pictures. I finally decided on a nice turn about straight away at 90 something street, where I recalled a person taking pictures for the Central Park running club and I had always wanted my picture to be taken…arg! So, it was payback. I chose a nice spot where I could facilitate my shortness in height and stand on a stoop. There I could see everyone from my Karate Kid type of stoop and stretched my leg as I had seen the front runners zoom past me. After seeing many of my flyer teammates past me and I had countless taking their pictures with my extra zoom lens, there were many standouts amongst the crowd that I have never really seen until now, as a spectator and a person with a camera, you see some crazy stuff from runners.

1) A person who had been juggling while running at the same time. I had thought that taking water from the water station and drinking your water while running was hard enough. Man, he was pretty amazing to see though, although he was close to the end of the pack…

2) A random girl waving her hands ferociously at me to get my attention to take her picture. “umm, hate to break it to you young lady, but I’m not taking your picture”. People do the whole waving at the camera guy during marathons and half marathons, not for a 5 mile race. Think Mardi Gras for runners, where instead of flashing your boobs, you wave your hands ferociously. I mean some people have it and some people don’t. I don’t think I would be as coordinated to wave my hands and run at the same time…Opps, crazy girls like my sister will grab the camera (wo)men’s attention by waving…oh my sister is so silly!

3) Random people would start the whole ferociously wave, then they would realize my shirt and NY Flyer garb on and stop. Some wouldn’t notice at all and think that I’m with the news crew. One person screamed out, “hey buddy, you going to take any pictures?” and my response would be…”Umm…no buddy, now I’m not going to take one, especially not you now…”
So like the juggling guy, I too can relate to his craziness where I carry my camera during marathons and fun runs. I guess some would say that I am just as strange to be taking so many pictures during a marathon or half marathon race. And I guess I can also relate to “the random girl that waved her hands ferociously, where instead of taking a picture of me on the race, I would take a picture of him taking a picture of me. So again I can relate to these people…a picture speaks a million words and explains to people, “Am I tired? Am I going to make it?”

Of course you are!

6/16/07

Pony up!!!

As everyone says, “I usually don’t post anything that deals with a relationship or dating life on these blogs.” But, what really gives? People pour their lives out on daily events, running events and well…their life! “This will be my one time where I confess to the private parts of my eternal life” (but in reality, I’ll speak truthfully about my now recently single relationship life or rather my likings and what I look for within a person…but just tid-bitts every now and then, or you can just ask…) Why not the juicy stuff? So here is one of many “runner chick” looks in which I find very appealing…

So, ever since I had been a runner in High School, there has always been this fascination about how a runner chick (I use that word not trying to offend any women out there, but runner women? Runner lady? Female runner goes, but still doesn’t exactly fit my tone in the elegance and just plain old hotness of a female runner…) So female runners have a certain elegance when they run. Maybe it’s the attire that they wear from shorts and sports bra’s to the amount of skin that they are showing (85% WHAHOOO!) or their figure? I don’t know, but there is a certain elegance that female runners show that is appealing to well any guy. For me, it’s all about that and another appealing aspect that I have always noticed since High School. Maybe this had turned up when I had ran cross country, running with one of my best friends or maybe it’s just that I’m a huge flirt or notice too many different things while running. But, the simple thing of how a women wears her hair…Some hide their hair in hats, others just let it lose, but most wear theirs in a pony tail…which brings it to either a long ponytail (long hair) or the rather shorter ponytail (short).

Doesn’t matter which length you wear your ponytail, although there is a certain size that accounts to the actions that I am about to speak of. Most women don’t even realize this, where you have to see it in the back or rather side and just look at the actions of a female runner. The way the ponytail just bobbles as each stride is taking place is very appealing. Although the short haired (I would have to say about shoulder length) you would get the best results in this “bobble”.

All I can describe it is like a pom-pom that bobbles up and down and sometimes when you are lucky, sways right and left…and if you are even more lucky…which I had been noticing today, a runner chick had about shoulder lengthen hair, pony tailed up and her hair was in the perfect bobble, but the bobble didn’t occur from right to left or vice versa, the ponytail was in a constant circle, like a propeller or a bobble propeller. I thought it was cute, funny and just well…in perfect form. She was an amazing runner as well, but that’s besides the point…well…not really though.

So, runner look number one: “The ponytail – Bobble”

But ladies…don’t be cutting your hair now. You all look perfect on how you look now…

6/15/07

Oh...RATS!

Alright, so I have recently cut down my running to 3 days a week in training, no races (equals no concerns on PRing or heat exhaustion). Gosh, I really swore to myself in my last race that the humidity and heat really cause a huge factor of bringing down my enthusiasm for running. But I'll be there at the races to take pictures and cheer people on...and maybe even bring along the COWBELL!

Although my 3 days a week training sessions have started, I have broken the "3 day rule" to facilitate one of my college friends, whom has recently started running. So I run along at a gingerly pace at a 10 minute mile to pace her and to facilitate my injury. No girl should run alone in the city...come on now.

She was a beginner and I wanted her to experience “the addiction” of what running was about. She had joined up with TNT (Team in Training) which we runners like to call “the cult” because of the large groupings of people that run together in a group all around Central Park. But I support any cause that is fighting a disease, and if you are running on top of that (no matter what distance or pace) well then, you are not just fighting the cause; you are also doing good for yourself. So, she is training for the San Francisco Half Marathon or better known as the NIKE 26.2, which is very popular amongst the women because 1) it's an all women's marathon and 2) the hardware that they give out in the end of the race…a women’s most favorite colored blue box and white bow…need I say it? - Tiffany’s & CO!“come on men, get with the program!” is what women want to hear.

So, last Thursday I met up with her to do a leisurely 5 mile loop on the East side. We ran along the Hudson River peering at the Brooklyn Skyline, stretched and then took a turn inside right between Alphabet City and the beginnings of Chinatown. We ran along the streets of some lower income housing areas, which were not too bad, although it wasn’t like running around Midtown either. While running on the sidewalks we saw in the distance Two HUGE Rats from the garbage bags on the left side to a building on the right.

(Envision a cat running across the street, and that is what it looked like from the distance) I really did not think much of it to keep running in the direction that we were going at and totally forgot that she being a lady, whom may have been afraid of rats or mice, should have crossed the street. I did not or had not even thought about that at the time (and of course, I was running, where I just have a complete focus on just running at the time, even at that pace).

SO, I continue to run, thinking that was it, TWO HUGE RATS and that’s it…wow was I wrong. We saw two more HUGE RATS scurry across again and a HUGE amount (I would have to say about 4 more all around the garbage bags) THEY WERE HUGE. We described them as cat sized rats. So after I pursued to run past them, I turn to look where my partner had been (thinking that she had ran across the street) and I look slightly back, she wasn’t there….I look slightly ahead of me and I can see that her focus was to run straight past there at a blazing speed that I have never seen her run so fast in my life. Boy, do I owe her big time for that experience, were we joked around at the end and said that those CAT SIZED RATS could have jumped us and given us RABIES or if I had dropped dead because of the RABID RATS, she would have been left alone and maybe even R_ped (I hate using that word, I have a story about that which I can share with certain people…)

We made it back ok, all in one piece, but the experience and trust in our runs outside of Central Park looms in the future of having a running mate. I told her that I had to show her the bad to make the good look and feel more appreciative, but I think we’re on good terms. The Rabid Rabbit Sized Rats will ever be imprinted in my running experience now.

6/12/07

Life – Tagged by Honesty: 6 Very Weird Things…

Ok…playing “TAG - YOUR IT” in elementary school had been one of my all time favorite games, although Blogger Tag? Who makes this stuff up? Ok, I’ll play along, you had twisted my arm and I had been reading the funnies in (runner26’s – honesty 6 questions) then after reading (BCG - honesty answers) I saw that I had been tagged…And you say that I’m the young one? Please…

Honesty is always the best policy, so here we go…

Actually, I’ve been trying to decipher what these questions are, but people just give answers…where are the questions? So 6 weird things that no one knows about yourself? Gosh…I have to think about these…

1) I’m a nudist at heart. I have no problem getting naked in public. I have always been quite assured about my body and throughout my college years all of the parties I was known to come in with the “least amount of clothing.”

My final year of college, I actually had gotten naked for one of my professors for her installations. (A picture? Why yes, I have a picture…) Enjoy ladies…enjoy! Hey, it was for the sake of my friends and the project that she was working on. No one else wanted to get naked, so well…I did. But what is nudity if it wasn’t art? Art is the form, the beauty, the essence…got to love art!

2) My fear? I have a growing fear of heights and death. The combination just freaks me out. It’s really the fear of dying or the fear of just falling, seeing everything just happening in my mind…the actions of just falling and SPAT! I get afraid when people are holding a camera out of a building and just the sudden jerk…and I envision that I am the camera and am falling. It’s really quite scary where I get all sick and queasy and it sometimes just hurts!

3) Birthmarks, yeah I have a whole lot of those. There is a Chinese saying where if these birthmarks are placed in a specific section of your body, it accentuates that sort of region. I have birthmarks on my eye, lip, and nose and a whole bunch on my face, where if you connect these dots it shapes up as the big dipper. I also may have a strawberry birthmark on my upper buttock region…If I knew what a strawberry birthmark is…

4) Water! I nearly drowned when I was little in one of those pools where it slowly declines. I was like 4 or 5 years old, didn’t want to wait for my mother, and dashed away. I still can remember to this day how many gallons of water I had drank and the visions of my arms in the air, choking to death. The water just enshrouding me…why did I do that? I don’t know…but to this day, I still haven’t been a great swimmer…this is the only thing that holds me back from doing Triathlons.

5) My personality…this can be deceiving! Those who really know me can attest to the switch of moods that I can go through. I have massive mood swings; I can go from laughing to being really pissed off. Like the colors of Black or White…I have no gray side. Everyone just sees me as being a cheerful, go lucky guy (which I am!) but when I get serious (races) or when I’m pissed off, it’s a switch of the moods. Many of my friends think I’m rather funny when I “get pissed,” but in actuality I try not to be pissed for that long. I have tried to “calm myself” down and “go with the flow” nature of things, I have been better with this, but when I was little…I was trouble. I have a bad temper, but I try to really hold things in.

A side note to that, a day can be totally ruined for me if something goes massively wrong. If I lose something or if something really irks me, it can ruin my whole day. I’m best when I am left alone and/or sleep things off. Although usually the next day, I’m pretty refreshed and think nothing of it.

6) I have a pretty great relationship with my sister. As siblings, we never really fought at all. I can remember one time in which we had fought, although like 20 minutes later, I had given up and couldn’t be mad at her anymore. It’s quite the loving relationship that my sister and I have. We talk about almost everything to each other and make each other laugh most of the time.

7) Sorry, I love being the rebel (like
Runner26), but last but not least. I’m a life savor. Not the candy, but I save like all the things that happen within my life that means something. If it means something to me I would usually keep it in some kind of binder or file it away in a trunk. I have all of my birthday cards, Christmas cards, etc from like 5th grade and forward. I’m quite the moment-o person, I guess that is why I take so many pictures to capture the moment. It’s just these things that make things rather special…

Well, I have been TAGGED…thanks! Now, it’s your turn…

TAG…YOUR IT
Sister Smile, Nyflygirl & Landmarks ...

Running - Continue: Need for Speed...

So waking up at 5am isn’t easy huh? Let’s just say that I had woken up at 4:15 am and really couldn’t go to bed at all because of this relay. I don’t know if I was nervous or just plain excited, but I usually can not sleep or get these huge anxiety attaches before a major race…not like this was huge or anything, but this was my first relay race. It was like playing in the minors and getting called up to play in the major leagues…I had great respect for my teammates and I look up to them.

So we picked up our van, and off we went to pick up the rest of the flyer team along the way…When we arrived at the starting point, we could see that our other two Flyer teams had already been there for quite a while. There were many teams taking team photos of each other and people warming up.

Our first flyer team headed out at 8:25 am, where everyone just said their hello’s, chatted and seemed more like a social gathering rather than a race. I guess our 3 teams had the advantage, since we had a team of 27 people or more there to say hello to and chat amongst ourselves. As our first flyer team started out, each of our 2 remaining teams started to get anxious to start. The next flyer team started about 10 minutes later at 8:35 am and we were the last to go in the final heat of the wave starts.

As our van left, we said our good lucks to the first leg our captain, Pat Duffy, who had done the same leg as the year before. So we really had quite the advantage in him knowing the course and the steam incline hill of 450 feet in the 3rd mile of 8 miles. I was to go next to what seemed to be a very mountainous trail leg. I had done cross country in high school and had assured my teammates that I was the right man for this leg. I had been honored to run with them, and would do the best that I could ever do in this 7.5 miler. We had seen the first team come through and were on their way to leaving the area, the second team’s leg came in and they had stayed knowing that our Pat Duffy would arrive soon after. I had put on my “game face,” just before the race. Those who know me know that I can go from silliness, to seriousness in the matter of milliseconds. People can see it as funny or as very scary, where seriousness can only mean that I would be focused. Not many of my teammates have seen me in my marathons or start near me at Road Runner races. They had never seen this side of me before, where all eyes would be on me, as I awaited to get started…after fumbling the sweaty strap from Pat at the exchange area, I was on my way…

Little did I know that the elevation chart had been quite true of these steep inclines and declines. The course was VERY ROCKY, the beginning 4 miles of trail running, steam incline hills and steep decline hills, exposed roots of trees, and rocks…did I mention the ROCKS? See the trick with trail running is running at the points where you are not running on rocks, you want to run on the sides, where the path is mostly less traveled. You constantly want to keep your eyes in front of you and always peering toward the ground, but add hills to the mix and you have a different story. Also add not knowing where you are running and trying to concentrate at the orange and blue signs, you end up have quite the interesting race leg. AND yes, ROCKS

What made this leg most challenging was the trails, steepness of the hills, steepness of the decline of hills, smaller pathways, footing of rocks, roots and every step you take was not a full stride, but rather a shorter stride of your regular run. You just seem to be quite exhausted after all the hills and inclines, then the declines hit in the trails and you are zooming and need to still keep focus and slow yourself down because you don’t want to lose your footing, sprain or break your ankle or even lose your way completely. At mile 1.5 on the inclines, I was cooked, done! I had wondered why I had done this race, why I was competing. If it wasn’t for the expectations of my team, I would have stopped running to catch my breath. I had been exhausted! My legs were done (after training and doing a marathon 2 weeks before…doing inclines and declines of a very hilly, trail running leg…I was done!) But in my heart, I never walk during races! (it’s like that saying, “there is no crying in baseball”) I had signed up for this race for the team aspect and I couldn’t let down my teammates. I had gone at a slower pace to keep myself in balance with what my capabilities. I had sped past a marker leading up to a fork. RIGHT OR LEFT? I chose left, but then in no time reacted and went back, where another runner was coming up behind me. I glanced, saw the arrow was point right and sped off again. He was right behind me, telling me that he would tell me which way to turn or if I had missed another turn, he would tell me. What a nice guy! By this time, it was not about deception, it was about skill and it was about safety. We both wanted to beat each other, but we would act as a team to get each other through these dreaded rocky trails. I had led for a while, then let him lead to draft and let him go ahead of me. I had been pooped! My heart monitor had told me that I had exceeded my 200 beats per minute mark and my pace fluctuated from a 8-9 minute mile pace. As we finally started to get the feeling of literally, “getting out of the woods”, I had felt assured that my legs would respond to the road. Boy was I wrong! Literally, I needed my sunglasses when I peered out of the trail running and onto the roads. It was a cloudy overcastted day and it was going from darkness to brightness.

My legs felt as though they had been demolished by the short strides, intense muscle tightening from the steep inclines and declines, but the most important part, was that I was out of the trails and onto the roads. I had seen ahead of me my fellow team member Richard, said hello, barked “GO Flyer!” and quickly ran along. I tried so hard to regain my running stride. All I can feel within my legs were the constant pull of my hamstrings as through they had been tied down or resisting. It was frustrating, but I was on my turf. I quickly picked off the guy that had helped me in the woods and had been going for another strong runner just ahead. SHE, had been running really strong and was quite the runner on roads as well. As we slowly entered an area of falls, or falling water from the dam, little did I know that the next exchange area was about a mile away. I am afraid of heights and the road across the falls was large enough, I was tired, ran in the middle and slowly puttered away. Then we entered woods again. Uh! I hate trails! As I had seen other runners run up the hill, I knew the end was near. I adjusted my gear and turned it up another notch, hearing the cheering I caught the lady ahead at the exchange, swiped the band and in some confusion didn’t see my teammate ahead of me. Nicole was next and she was screaming at me as I hurried along to give her the band. I may have over ran her as well in the confusion. I was done!

After catching my breath, I could see a huge crowd of Flyers there. Everyone was asking me questions of whom I had passed, if so and so were there and how was the course. I clearly stated that this leg had been a smooshed up marathon into 7.5 miles. My legs were shot as though I had just ran a marathon. As my teammates were rushing to leave, I could remember seeing Jamie who had ran the first leg on the first team that had left…Everyone had been asking about the three flyers who ran the leg, (John Ward (1st team, Richard (2nd team) – who I had passed, and Paul (who was on another team). I was like, why are they asking me all these questions. Richard was still on the course, and John I had not seen (assuming he was ahead of me and was already done). I finally got it when they told me that they were still out on the course and that I had been the first flyer done with that leg. I was the last flyer to start the leg.
As the day continued, each leg getting shorter, longer and runners nervously awaited for their leg to start. I had been done, and went in and out of the car. Picking up the previous runner and dropping off the runner at their leg. Cheering with our teammates and meeting up with our other team. But after a while we would slowly catch up with the other teams that had started way ahead of the pack. Teams that had started with us, dashed ahead of the other runners and soon we had become the lonesome teams that awaited in the beginning of the stages. But in the end, we became the 2nd co-ed team and 4th overall team to finish out of 117 teams. It was quite the achievement, but it was a long, exhausting day.


Congratulations to all the Flyers out there who did this...We had a good time!

6/10/07

Did anyone ask for Speed?

Today I ran in my first team relay race since high school track on the 4 X 100 meter relay team, where passing the baton was so quick and necessary to practice that it was even more important than how you even run. I think, my team (I call it my team since I was the lead off leg) had or still has the school record in this event. But today was a jittery day. Let me give you a little run down…

I had always wanted to do a relay race and The Need for Speed Relay was close by, fun and my club was asking for members to join up for the team. So I had decided to join the team in these festivities. Little did I know that I was considered to being an alternate or a substitute for a very elite team made by the President of my club and a selected amount of runners from my club. These selected members (at the time I had not qualified for Boston) but all these people have made and ran in the Boston Marathon. (Again, to reiterate, I consider the Boston Marathon to being the “elite” or Crème de la Crème of all marathons. It’s all about qualifying for the Boston Marathon which brings its history and richness to the event. Although, the NYC marathon is considered one of the best marathons, I have heard but never ran, but the many people that qualify for these events are from running 9 previous Road Runner races or have gotten in by the lottery system) Also these runners usually score points for our team, and are the elite runners. I mean I was totally honored by even being considered for this team, no way can I replace any of these runners and their times alone in any type of race. So I was very happy to be an alternate (in all honesty, I just wanted to run my first relay race.)

So…about two weeks ago, I got word that one of the teammates was going to drop out due to business and traveling conditions, so that meant that I was being called up to the big leagues. The expectations were so high and let alone this team wanted to win or show what you have got. But I was ecstatic to being on this team,

(more to follow…I’m tired and heading to bed…)

6/9/07

Roses…Medals…and MORE COW BELL!

Well today was the NYRR Mini 10K and to all the ladies who ran today, “NICE JOB, YOU RAN HARD AND HOPE YOU DID WELL”…

That said, being a guy and being excluded by all these women’s only races, this one topped the list. Next year, WATCH OUT! I’ll be wearing a wig and running in a skirt and changing my name if I have to, just to run in these women only races…(ok, ok, you got me there…I’ll just take pictures of these lovely ladies). But WHAT GIVES?

This one especially tops the list because at the end of the race, these women get a rose, a medal and an exclusion from men (that or I have heard that the shirts are just ordinary shirts, so I had nothing left.) But enough about the jealousy factor, the race was a completely different race. The course changed; there was a wave start for lead runners and enough room for all to run instead of the narrow “stay between the lines” shouting from the race wardens at usual races. Ok, now I’m finished with the big jealousy factor.

My gosh, there were so many ladies running down Central Park West, heads bobbing up and down like a wave in the sea. It was like one of those pictures you regularly see at the start of the NYC marathon, although with this race, it’s only the ladies that ran. I don’t know why there were not many more men out there on the course, maybe it was the early wake up or maybe I just enjoy supplying my public service of taking pictures of the many magnificent women on my team. I believe that “depth” would be the correct word used by one of my teammates.

So after cheering on and taking pictures on the west side, I ran over to meet the women at the east side right near The Great Lawn. I took out my cowbell that I had received from the Marine Corps Marathon, where I had stole the cowbell from a little boy that was cheering for his father. (ok, I didn’t steal it from a kid, but I really have a cowbell). So…after cheering on the front runners and many of my Flyer women, I had heard from many of the ladies, “MORE COWBELL!!!” So of course, I rang louder. How can I not, these ladies were requesting more cowbell, so I gave them MORE COWBELL! After a while, I had decided to run back across town to the finish line to see if I can catch up with any of my other Flyer women and take more pictures of them. Along the way though, I had to maneuver my way through this class for newly running parents with running strollers and an army instructor that was shouting at them with their kids in the stroller. It was so funny though, but man was the instructor tough. They had to do side steps, run and have control of their stroller. It looked like a really tough class!

So I caught up with the women that were just about to finish, took out my cowbell again and yet again I had heard, “MORE COWBELL”. I told this to a bunch of my teammates at the end and they told me to bring it out to a bar next time. I’m tempted to try it out, seems that the ladies really love the cowbell…but I think not, I’ll only leave that when I’m on the sidelines and cheering on my team.

So while walking back to the train, one lady member of my team “relentlessly relieved herself” (no…I didn’t mean she peed on herself) of her well deserved rose and thinks she has brought great promise to the founder. We predict that whomever decided to pick up the rose (a guy hopefully) would bring it to a girl and they would live happily ever after.

But, quickly bringing my point to a close…I’d have to go with the ladies on this one and say, “WE NEED MORE COWBELL!!!”

6/8/07

Life - Why do you Blog?

Ok...maybe I have gotten into this whole Blogging thing late (hey, I'm a late bloomer), although I find it very, very addicting. This whole week I have been coming up with may different topics, stories and just life events. I have stayed up late (yes, my abilities and productivity at work has slowly declined this week) but still I find that I need to tell a story everyday. Is there an Bloggin anonymous that you can go to, to get off of this? I had thought that my running addiction was bad, or maybe it is because I am running less, my time when running goes to my blogging and therefore offsets the two. Maybe I'm just a late bloomer in blogging and need to find that I can burn out too easily, maybe I should use my marathoning mental pace and tell myself, slow and steady, pace yourself and you will get the time you need. Although most people are against the whole blogging thing, while I was telling one of my running partners, she stated a very good point..."When you Blog, your just putting yourself out there..." Why do you want to know what people are thinking, saying or even witnessing. Well, maybe I'm just liberal, or maybe I just grew up in a strange way or maybe I'm just crazy, but I like putting myself out there just because well I'm me, I have no clue why other people do, maybe they are crazy as well, but in their own way.

So I came up with many different topics that I still want to incorporate both running and my life (I sound like an American Express commercial) but just to put it out there and to look forward to:

Running:
Post Marathon Depression
Relay Racing
Showing the 80% of skin...
Morning runs vs.. Evening runs
Beating the Heat...
Running Rituals
The Bandana...
The Arm Band...

Life:
Your Fault(s)! - Not everyone is perfect...
What do you do when a baby bird falls from a tree?
What's the stupidest thing you have ever done?
The world of Nudity...
The whole Ipod craze...
What comes around, goes around...
Social life - the world of alcohol
How I write - Dyslexia...

So, to all my fellow runners and friends out there that run with me, watch out, all my conversations with you may strike a good conversational piece for a Blog topic, don't worry too much though, I will try not to include names, although if it's alright with you I will (everything is fair game!). It's a crazy world out there and anything could lead to a good conversation. Please comment on your latest rant or rave about my topics, I do enjoy the community discussion and may change my mind over how I think. Knowledge is power, always live your life to the fullest. Smile and enjoy yourself more!

6/6/07

Running - Why we run...

I may have picked this topic up from another runner on his/her blog, although each and every person has a different interpretation on this topic...which brings me to the question...

WHY DO YOU RUN?

Some people run for exercise, while others run because they need to (and NEED meaning adicted to). Some run for a cause, while others just put it in their schedule because they have a set schedule every day of the week...not that it's a bad thing, it's just the way of life, a weekly regime and neither wind, freezing snow or hot humidity will ever get in their way. Some run for comrodery, while others run for individuality. Some run fast, some run slow...either way, they get to the same place (different time, what what really is time anyhow?) and they have competed the same distance. I think the Runners World magazine (march 07) had a little cartoon out in old issues asking people, "which runner are you?" where they had 4 different types: The Warrior, The Socialite, The Purist and The Exerciser.

There is a saying, that goes, "once inspired, aways inspired". I find running to be my tension breaker, a good run after work will truly be almost like SEX...YES, I said it fokes, why else do you think that so many runners are single? (kidding...we just smell!) But yes, runners are single because they train on their own, they have such high expectations (no matter what they are) and we believe that racing or even running...is OUR time.

Some run for the social reasons, where you can meet like many different runners with the same passion. Others will give you advice on just about anything or will try to answer some of your questions in a different light that you haven't even thought about. While some will give you praise on a birthday, PR or engagement and at the same time, some will embrace you when times are rough and be a great support group. Some will jog, while others will race or run really hard to embrace a training run because you "feel good today". While others while hurt and drowinging in missery will just show up and drink, be social and savy...but in the end, we all have different purposes, different schedules and different ways of running...

Some follow a purpose, may it be because they have ran in high school or college and are picking it back up again or may it be that they have never ran and just wanted to run and run and run (almost like forest gump!). The determination to keep striving for the finish line, the determination to break all your Personal Records year after year, until finally, you can't anymore and realize this...while others run for a tension break. A stress reliever where all your troubles just go away and your mind is free from every thought in the world. You are just in the zone, just free from all feelings and no problems will arise.

Then there are others who run for a cause. They feel that they have accomplished something for themselves and for others, or double duty. May it be that you donate your shoes to the kids in Africa (which I recommend all those who run to do this: more details on where to donate your shoes...) or may it be for a friend or family member who has an illness and brings out even a more of a drive to strive. We race for a cure and a reason to hope.

We all have different feelings toward running and why we have even started running in the first place. I on the other hand have listed most of mine, these are the reasons why I have ran, raced, strived and survived. It's a reason to wake up in the morning, to strive to do better, to train to be better and just to have fun.

I enjoy running...no matter what the distance, what the pace, and most imporantly, with myself or with others.

Running - No Pain, No Gain...

OK... First a little shout out to all my Flyer Bloggers out there whom I have found and appreciate now for joining the vast network of Blogging...Where have I been all these years? But then again, running has consumed my life, where running on roads and knowing every hill in Central Park is more familiar than seeing my own parents.

There is a saying in all sports where there is NO PAIN, THERE IS NO GAIN. HA...tell that to me and my other flyer buddies that are injured, desperately wanting to enjoy one mile of sunshine, heat or sweat...but instead, we are injured. Subdued by injuries that range from IT Band Issues (or Incredible Torture Band - Running Chronicles) to Plantar Fasciitis to even what I may have, Achilles Tendinitis. These are all painful injuries that take quite an amounted time to recover from. Although like most runners (hemm, me included) we seem to avoid these issues and stick with our program and run, even though we know we may injure our issues even more or even make our issues worse. We are determined, we are stubborn and we just love running.

We think the saying of NO PAIN, NO GAIN is talking about the injuries, but really of essence, we don't listen to our bodies and don't take time off. (I on the other hand had just recently ran 2 marathons in a 1-1/2 month, both trying to qualify for my marathon qualification time) I now learn by having this injury will sideline for at least a month to recover & recuperate. But I must learn to take care of myself in learning to stretch, ice, heat and massage my body in certain locations and let it heal from the beating down gantlet of training.

Usually to the adamant exercisers will learn that the term NO PAIN, NO GAIN means the effects of soreness and "feeling the burn" sensations after a long run or exercise. Although to an average runner, I feel that when you choose to do a marathon and run a 26.2 miler, you will get the marathon shuffle as I call it later on in the day afterwards. I this strong feeling that Marathoners are crazy people. They really like pain, maybe it's the fact that they love getting this runner's HIGH after some long runs where you actually feel dizzy or in a "daze" look, but I feel that marathon runners are completely nutty people...We're all adicted to the feat of completion of the 26.2.

So...the term NO PAIN, NO GAIN... to some this does exist in their vocabulary and they actually understand the term, to others it's just jibberish and words that flow in one ear and out the other...and to others, it's a feeling, it's a term and it's the way of life...

To all my injured foke, recover quickly and recouperate and when you are back, stay healthy...

6/5/07

Running - Vermont Marathon...Before & After...


OK...I had written this before to one of my friends describing in an e-mail about the big 26.2 miles of a marathon. It's the nature of the beast and when it comes down to it you just don't RUN 26.2 miles, you train for it. You live it for 3-4 months, you eat, sleep, breath and do it over and over again. It really consumes you to a level where it becomes your life, a ritual and a desire...


"...just get my race gear, worry about my 26.2 miles and REALLY...26.2 MILES! It's really something to get overwellmed about. I mean I really don't get nerveous before any race, but this race FREAKS ME OUT! there is something to it. I mean the distance, the amount of time that you are on your feet and it's just something that really puts you in perspective. I have great respect for anyone that does do a marathon, but there is some additive pressure that goes with it for me and that is the time. you are running against time. I have never really situated myself against this as much in any race, if I PR (personal Record) then I get a pr and my time drops, and If i don't then I don't...but there is another thing with Marathons...the feeling of mentally finishing...the training involved and the mind and thoughts that goes through your mind as you go through it. it's wild, but it's just pretty much undescribable..."

So...after the race:

SO...QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON! (which is all that had mattered...i mean...running a 3:05:11 - 107th overall, 99th out of all men, and ran an average of a 7:04 min/mile...& a 6 min PR...) it's an undescribable feeling...

The course was not as easy as I had though, it was rather hilly, but I mean we're running a marathon here! But really couldn't sleep before then (woke up like two times that night once at 2am and once at 4...finally woke up at 5:30 and couldn't get back to bed...) I ate 2 dinners that night, both pasta dinners. Ate 4 packets of GU during the extensions of the race (mile 12, mile 16, mile 20 and mile 22) which really helped in the end and made it...i'm going to the elite Boston Marathon. There are so many people that have helped make this happen and the support from friends, family and of course, my teammates from the NY Flyers. Thanks, you are my running family!